Homestead Tim Kohuth, Team ASE Preview

HOMESTEAD, FL. (Feb. 21, 2000) -- Mike Wallace and the ...

HOMESTEAD, FL. (Feb. 21, 2000) -- Mike Wallace and the #2 Team ASE Ford couldn't have asked for a better start to the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. After winning the inaugural Daytona 250 at Daytona International Speedway, the team is headed for Homestead Miami Speedway this weekend for the Florida Dodge Dealers 400. Wallace is the defending champion of the Homestead event and combined with the Daytona win, is the odds-on favorite to make it two in a row. "There's no doubt we'd like to do that," said Team ASE crew chief Tim Kohuth. "Everything about the Team ASE Ford is better this year than it was last year at this time. Our pit crew is better than it was last year, they're bigger, stronger guys this time around. We have an excellent engine program and our trucks are well prepared. We have a lot of brand new equipment. We're all working together for a second year now. I know we're better." Wallace and the #2 Ford proved just how much better they are this season with a dominating performance at Daytona. The fastest truck all week in practice, Wallace just missed the pole in qualifying setting for an outside front row spot. During the race, the St. Louis, MO native ran in front early, went to the back of the pack after a flat tire midway through the event, and rallied to make a thrilling last-lap pass for the win. It was Wallace's third NCTS career victory and a sterling start to the season. Now it's up to Kohuth and the Team ASE crew to back it up with a win at Homestead. "We'll do a lot of things bodywise to make the truck handle," said Kohuth. "It will be a totally different body configuration than the one we won with at Daytona last week. We'll do some things aerodynamically to make the truck turn in the corners. We'll especially do that on the front end. "We'll use the same chassis set up we used when we won last year," Kohuth continued. "We can just tune from there. We run a pretty soft spring set-up at Homestead because the track is real flat. We'll just make some small adjustments as we find them. There's no sense messing with success." So what exactly will Kohuth and the team need to do to make it two in a row on the 1.5-mil Homestead oval? "The truck needs to drive good to have a shot at winning again at Homestead," stated Kohuth. "Mike needs to be able to drive into the corner hard and turn, then drive it up off of the corner. That's true at 90 percent of the places we go to, but at Homestead, it's very critical. You have to have a good handling truck. We'd like to win the pole there, but we'll be focusing on the big picture, winning the race." Kohuth also knows this time around he and his team will be the seen as the favorites to win making them the focal point of the garage area. "I think we caught everyone off guard with a few things we did last year," stated Kohuth. "We worked really hard on our pit stops during the off season and that helped us out a bunch there. Our pit strategy was also good. Put all that with a good truck, engine and Mike's experience, and I wasn't surprised we won at Homestead last year. I sure won't be surprised if we win this year." The Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead Miami Speedway will take the green flag on Saturday, February 26 at 3:30 p.m. EST and will be televised by ESPN2.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace